Obama Closing Superdelegates Gap
Barack Obama is gaining steadily on Hillary Clinton among Democratic superdelegates, nearly erasing her last advantage in a presidential race where those party insiders could be the ultimate kingmakers.
In a danger sign for Clinton, Obama over the past few months has sharply cut her lead among superdelegates — nearly 800 elected officials and party leaders free to back any candidate.
"Obama has won more delegates, he's won more votes, he's raised more money, and now you see it happening with superdelegates too," said Simon Rosenberg, head of the Democratic advocacy group NDN.
Neither Obama nor Clinton is likely to win enough pledged delegates in state contests to clinch the hard-fought battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, leaving superdelegates to decide the race. The Democratic nominee will face Republican John McCain in the November election.
Despite heavy courting by
A count by MSNBC gives
"It has been a drip, drip, drip toward Obama," said Steven Schier, a political analyst at
"Superdelegates can see Obama's advantages growing, and it's pretty clear it's going to be very hard for
Obama has suggested that superdelegates back the candidate with the most pledged delegates — he leads by about 130 — and popular votes. He leads
More than 300 superdelegates remain uncommitted or have yet to be named, giving the candidate who wins the bulk of them a path to the nomination.
The private battle for superdelegates has been as tough as the public campaign for votes, with both camps courting uncommitted party leaders and trying to keep supporters in line.
But she recently won the support of U.S. Rep. John Murtha of
"Most superdelegates are in a holding pattern. They're waiting to see what happens in
Wayne Holland, chairman of the Utah Democratic Party and a superdelegate, endorsed Obama on Thursday. He said he thought Obama could help Democratic candidates throughout
"As state chair, my job is to try to elect as many Democrats in various offices in this state as possible," he said. "I was looking for who could best help us win here, and that was overwhelmingly Senator Obama."
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